Summer is practically here and on some days we’re already sweating the moment we step outside. As temperatures rise, it is even more important to consume enough fluids in order to prevent dehydration. Dehydration can make us feel tired, but at worst puts us at risk of heat related illness.
Keep in mind, beverages such as sodas, juices, and sweetened teas are a major source of added sugar and therefore extra calories. Opt to reduce or eliminate sugar sweetened beverages and choose healthier alternatives to meet the rest of your fluid needs. Here are a few helpful tips to stay hydrated:
BYOB- Bring Your Own (Water) Bottle
It is an excellent idea to invest in a water bottle! Carrying a water bottle throughout the day will make hydrating convenient and easy. It can also help prevent you from purchasing sugar sweetened beverages while you are out and about, because you know you already have a beverage with you! Also, it can be eco-friendly to ditch the disposable bottles!
Skip the juice and infuse
Some people may not enjoy the bland taste of water. Although 100% fruit juice might sound like a convenient way to get a serving of fruit for the day, it usually isn’t the best option. Juice has a more concentrated amount of sugar and a lot less fiber than the whole fruit, which adds extra calories without the satiation we receive from eating and chewing. A great way to still get a fruity flavor while cutting back on calories is to infuse your water with fresh or frozen fruits! Try adding slices of citrus fruits to you water, such as lemons, or opt for frozen tropical fruits such as pineapple or mango.
How much fluid do you need?
Fluid needs vary for everyone and depend on factors such as health status, activity level, gender, and where you live. On average, it is recommended that women consume 9 cups of fluid per day, and men consume 12.5 cups of fluids per day. This may sound like a lot, but keep in mind that around 20% of this fluid usually comes from the food you eat such as fresh fruits and vegetables!
Be sure to stay alert for signs of dehydration such as light-headedness, headaches, increased thirst, decreased urine output, and other symptoms. Also, talk with your doctor about your fluid needs because certain populations such as women who are pregnant, older individuals, those with certain disease states, and children may have varying fluid needs.